In my story, I see Dwarves very differently to other writers I am sure, to me they are slightly more comical, an endearing quality that makes me smile whenever I put pen to paper.
Peel the layers back and this is what you find, capitalism meets country bumpkin. Throw in a compulsive disorder and you get – Bulbo, the Colliery Officious Pen Pusher. (Just a fancy word for a clerk of the highest order)
For a dwarf the most important aspect of life within the community is procuring wealth, vast sums of the stuff. Everything revolves around the colour, as they call it – gold, silver, precious gems, even metals, and of course the biggest cache of them all – glass. Marriages for instance are based on monetary contracts, the highest bidder gets the girl and the family gets a whole lot richer. Sounds familiar, just look in the history books and you’ll find plenty of references to this way of thinking.
Bartering is a unique way of getting paid, swapping exquisitely crafted objects or windowpanes for the colour, mending or working metal into useful articles that can be sold at the Great Feast and Fair once a year. As the old saying goes, the rich just getter richer.
Now the title, the Colliery Officious Pen Pusher, although a little long winded is just the way Bulbo likes it. You see, all dwarves hated wasting their time on the boring job called governing, it cuts into their mining schedule and let’s face it, if your doing paperwork how for the love of free enterprise can you search for the colour.
Like all functioning communities there has to be law and order, rules to inspire goodwill within that community, guidelines to live by, instilling order and harmony. Every dwarf knows this, but knowing and doing are two different things, so when the cry went out for an administrator, Bulbo’s hand shot way up into the air. His was the only one mind, for the rest of the room sat in silent shock. Who in his right mind wanted to be waist deep in paper work all the time?
This is where Bulbo’s compulsive disorder comes into play, his head required such an ongoing task to remain quiet and steady, and running the shop so to speak, was right up his alley. The smile on his face, what could be seen from inside his beard, was one of pure joy. Bulbo collected the pats on his back and the many handshakes with the look of someone, who had just been told they had won the lottery. It was the happiest day of his life.
In honor of his new position, this dwarf, a short solid fellow had a hat made in his favorite colour, yellow and on the front of this tricorne, for it had three sides, was the picture of a feathered quill. Now he finally felt complete. Ridiculous don’t you think, but for a dwarf who loved knitted quilts and pillows, brick a brac furniture and the odd assortment of knick knacks that sat in proud positions about the place, this was meant to be.
He is a no-nonsense fellow, with an overly large nose and sticky out ears. His beard, a thick red bush, is always brushed neat and stuffed into the waistband of his trousers. Of course, his eyebrows matched his beard, a bushy verandah that rise up and down with each long-winded look of sufferance; that he gives to those not understanding the need for order. Bulbo is exactly what the Machobe community needs, and his title although long winded, suits him just fine.
He has an office of his own, a filing system to rival even the most thorough of record keeping and his wealth, a considerable stockpile hidden secretly away, is substantial to say the least. After all, when you’re the one handling all the numbers, day in and day out, who is going to notice a little skimming every now and then?
Oh, did I forget to mention that dwarves love a good fight? When they don’t want to sit at a table in front of Bulbo, wasting precious digging time in filling out a good many forms, the settling of a disgruntled miner usually ended with a ruckus of fists and curses, and the best of all was the beard pulling. You’ve got love those dwarves.